Hartepool United boss Craig Hignett reveals Lewis Alessandra defied team orders to take penalty

Lewis Alessandra
Lewis Alessandra

Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett says Lewis Alessandra went against team orders in missing the penalty that cost his side a deserved point against Blackpool.

The manager says Alessandra should never have been allowed to take the kick, with Padraig Amond the designated penalty taker.

He hasn’t thought about what he was going to do with it

And Hignett was less than impressed by his forward.

He said: “I expect Podge (Amond) to take it.

“Lewie took it and the designated penalty taker should have taken it. It is that simple.

“Podge missed against Accrington a few weeks back, but Billy Paynter isn’t there, he has gone off, and for that reason it is Podge’s job to take it.”

The manager was far from impressed with the manner of the kick also.

He said: “He hasn’t thought about what he was going to do with it.

“If the keeper saves, then OK, but with the conditions the way they are I felt a sidefoot low would have been much better than deciding to go high.”

Obviously Alessandra did not miss the penalty on purpose, and Hignett understands that the player acted with the best of intentions, especially when Pools have lacked leaders in recent weeks.

But he hopes the player can learn from the experience of letting his teammates down with a rush of blood to the head.

Hignett added: “Lewie has to learn about it.

“He’s a talented lad and he took it for honest reasons – to score and get us back into it.

“If he scored then no-one says a word, but he missed and people ask questions. Rightly so.”

Hignett believes the penalty miss just about sums up the mood about the Pools camp at the moment.

“The penalty sums up the lack of confidence,” he said.

“When we were scoring goals everyone was confident and wanted to shoot.

“Instead now they take an extra touch. That means they don’t hit it, they mishit it, or miss the target. Too often they give people the chance to get back and get a foot in.

“That is where we are at at the moment.”

Despite all of that, Hignett does feel his team were hard done to, though.

He continued: “I felt we were alright in the game, we defended alright and it was always tight because of the conditions.

“A lapse in concentration cost us. They didn’t cut us open, but it was a long punt upfield and we got caught ball watching.

“We put pressure on, got a penalty and a draw wasn’t ideal but we would have taken it.”